Midway seeks brewery, distillery
At a 26-minute Midway City Council meeting Monday, Mayor Grayson Vandegrift received unanimous approval for a task force to explore the possibility of attracting a small distillery or brewery to the city. "We've got (property) inventory in the downtown area that we think would be perfect for a brewery or distillery. It'd be a great tourist attraction and ... this is a city that has a long history with distilleries, in particular," Vandegrift said. The members of the task force are council member John McDaniel, former council member Dan Roller, and Steve and Julie Morgan, who own Kentucky Honey Farms. After the meeting, Vandegrift said Steve Morgan is a part-time tour guide for the Town Branch Distillery, a microbrewery and distillery in Lexington. The vote was 5 to 0. Council member Steve Simoff was absent. Midway Station The council unanimously approved an ordinance annexing 34.184 acres of land owned by the Homer Michael Freeny Jr. Trust and rezoning it from Agriculture (A-1) to Light Industrial (I-1). After the vote, Vandegrift got a few laughs when he called it the "easiest annexation this county's seen in a long time." The comment was a reference to previous land use controversies, the most recent being the Edgewood annexation in Versailles that led to an ongoing lawsuit. The council also unanimously approved a zoning map amendment and first amended final development plan for the land. Lakeshore Learning Materials, which will employ 262 full-time workers, plans to use the space for expansion and the possible recruitment of a business that will supply the company. City website Vandegrift told the council he'd been through training provided by the Georgia company contracted to redesign the city's website and that he and city clerk Sonya Conner will update the site in the next two weeks. The new site will look like the old and have the same web address (meetmeinmidway.com). Council member Sara Hicks suggested adding the list of short and long-term goals for the city discussed at a Feb. 2 special council meeting. Earlier in the meeting, Vandegrift discussed some of those goals. He said his fiscal 2018 budget proposal will include more money for training and pay for the volunteers at the Midway Fire Department, who are paid for each run they make. Charitable banners The council unanimously approved an ordinance amending a city zoning ordinance to allow banners on poles and fences for charitable events. Woodford Fiscal Court and the Versailles City Council have also approved the same ordinance. Tree trimming issues Near the end of the meeting, Hicks complained about recent tree-trimming work by Kentucky Utilities (KU). "This is kind of petty, but when the KU people came in and trimmed the tree, they left limbs all over my yard, and they were Holly limbs, and they're really prickly. Do we have any mechanism for asking them to be more tidy ...?" Hicks asked. Council member Bruce Southworth said the workers should have picked the limbs up. Council member Libby Warfield said she'd called KU about work they'd done on the entire block of West Cross Street and a church fence she thought they'd broken. Vandegrift said he'd write a letter to the company, which provides electricity to the city.